Make Them Hear You! is a weekly feature on KGNU, produced by Chris Mohr, letting listeners know how they can have their voices heard on issues up before Congress. You can hear it Wednesday mornings at 8.20am during the Morning Magazine.
Dec. 7, 2015: “Donald J. Trump is calling for a total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States until our country’s representatives can figure out what the hell is going on.” Last December, Trump also retweeted three videos that read, “Muslim Destroys a Statue of Virgin Mary!” “Islamist mob pushes teenage boy off roof and beats him to death!” and “Muslim migrant beats up Dutch boy on crutches!” Court after court revoked Trump’s Muslim ban because it was so obviously motivated by the President’s own publicly stated religious bigotry.
But then the Supreme Court upheld the ban on nationals from five Muslim-majority countries entering the United States in a 5-4 ruling.
Although the Supreme Court allowed the administration’s ban, its discriminatory origins mean many don’t want their tax dollars to fund its implementation. Now the Democrats in Congress have put forth a bill to defund the policy with S.1979/H.R.4271?
Sen. Chris Coons (D-Del.) introduced the anti-discrimination “to make clear that in the United States, we will not tolerate discrimination based on religion or nationality, and I invite everyone who treasures our American values to join me in defending them.”
In a majority opinion authored by Chief Justice John Roberts, the Supreme Court said the president has broad discretion to suspend the entry of aliens into the United States.
Senator Tim Kaine strongly disagrees. “Discriminating against individuals based on their religion or country of origin without evidence that the person poses a national security threat doesn’t make us any safer, and it undermines our core values.” Kaine and Coons are both members of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. “Congress should pass legislation to revoke this ban.”
Sen. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) agrees we should not fun this ban. “The Supreme Court won’t stop that unconscionable policy, but an act of Congress can,” he said. “I have a bill that would immediately stop President Trump’s mean-spirited Muslim ban and once again open our doors to children and parents suffering at the hands of our enemies.”
Policy wonks say that this attempt to limit Trump’s travel ban is likely dead on arrival in a Republican-controlled Congress. Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), the No. 2 Senate Democrat, suggested it isn’t politically feasible. “Let’s be real. The Republicans are in control.” A gentle reminder that your efforts can change that on Election Day 2018.
If you have an opinion on S.1979/H.R.4271, you can contact your Senators and Congressperson and share your concerns.